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First Friday Interview: Virgil Gadson of So You Think You Can Dance

SYTYCD_VIRGIL_008Philly born and bred, Virgil “Lil O” Gadson began his dancing career as a little kid, watching his favorite stars on TV. What started out as a hobby turned into a full-fledged career for the Mount Airy local. He has been seen everywhere – from NFL commercials to America’s Best Dance Crew, to the Season 12 Top 4 contestant of So You Think You Can Dance – for which he will be joining other finalists for a one-night performance at the Academy of Music on November 8.

A University of the Arts grad, he has taken his career above and beyond in the last few years. We got to hear a bit about his exposure to the industry and the awesome opportunities he has experienced.

Philly PR Girl: Tell us about yourself! Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies outside of dance?
Virgil Gadson: I grew up in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. My hobbies other than dance are reading, drawing in my sketch pad, acting singing and performing with my band in New York City.

Philly PR Girl: What was your training like when you were starting out? How has it changed over the years?
Virgil Gadson: Starting out, training, growing up, consisted of dancing at family gatherings, community events with friends in my neighborhood. Watching and imitating all of my favorite entertainers on TV, like Michael Jackson, MC Hammer, Sammy Davis Jr, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Nothing has changed much except that I have a better understanding of dance technique, classes, and foundation.

Philly PR Girl: Describe your journey in making it onto So You Think You Can Dance!
Virgil Gadson: My journey on the show was amazing, challenging, and intense. I’ve learned so much met new friends and was able to connect with so many viewers and fans.

Philly PR Girl: When did you feel most nervous during the season? Most accomplished?
Virgil Gadson: I felt most nervous and accomplished after every aired episode. It’s what I’ve trained and prepped for every week – to do the best that I can in order to stay in the competition

Philly PR Girl: What did you feel you brought to the competition that made you stand out from your competitors?
Virgil Gadson: My versatility and blending styles with my hip hop animation. Also being able to add comedy to my movement and performance on the show.

Philly PR Girl: Tell us about your current tour!
Virgil Gadson: The tour is great! I get a chance to explore different cities with a group of talented people and friends.

Philly PR Girl: What are your favorite venues to perform at or watch a show in Philadelphia?
Virgil Gadson: I love the Academy of Music, which we will be performing at. Also the Merriam Theater. It’s my home theater because when I was in school I got the opportunity to perform there multiple times.

Philly PR Girl: Are there any other exciting performances or opportunities we can look forward to in the upcoming year?
Virgil Gadson: Hopefully I will get the chance to perform on television again, and maybe more Broadway shows in the future.

Do you watch So You Think You Can Dance? Share your favorite season and performers in the comments!